La Touche

La Touche was one of the leading continental fin-de-siècle  masters who succeeded in producing scenes of enormous refinement which reflect the sophistication of a vanished age. A highly celebrated and acclaimed Belle Epoque painter, he was born in France at Saint-Cloud in 1854 and was a prodigious painter from an early age. A prominent member of the Société des Artistes Français from 1883 onwards he became one of the leading founder members, alongside Meissonier and Puvis de Chavannes, of the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts, founded in 1890 as an alternative to the outdated official Salon. He was awarded many prizes during his unfortunately short career, including medals in 1884, 1888, 1889  and 1900 at the Universal Exhibition, Paris.  The same year he received further homage, being made a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur (1900), an honour that was extended in 1909 when he was made an Officier of the Légion d’Honneur. He was also selected to represent France at the Venice Biennale on several occasions from 1899 culminating in a solo exhibition in 1912.

Gaston la Touche exhibited mainly at the Société des Artistes Français, from 1874-1890, and then at the Société Nationale de Beaux-Arts. A major retrospective of his work was recently held at the Musée des Avelines in 2014. His work is featured in numerous private and public collections, including the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Musée National d’Art Moderne - Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris); Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg; Phoenix Art Museum; Indianapolis Art Museum; Dayton Art Institute, Ohio; Walters Art Museum, Maryland; Art Institute of Chicago.